School of GeoSciences

Instrument capabilities and specification

Our facility has two gas source isotope ratio mass spectrometers with automatic carbonate preparation systems. 

These systems are ideally suited for the rapid analysis of sub-milligram sized carbonate samples to ascertain their stable oxygen and carbon isotopic compositions.  However, with an additional link to an elemental analyser, there is the provision for direct analysis of the carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of organic matter.

Stable Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometers

The VG PRISMIII with a dual inlet system and an ISOCARB preparation system is used to analyse samples for stable carbon and oxygen isotopes. This system routinely runs samples from 150 µg upwards in size. 

A Thermo Electron Delta + Advantage with a Kiel Carbonate III preparation system has also been added to the facility. This system will run samples as small as 30 µg in size.

Elemental Analyser

The Wolfson Laboratory also houses a CE Instruments NA2500 Elemental Analyser.  It can be interfaced with either of the mass spectrometers via dual reference gas injector boxes with additional diluters. This provides the capability to analyse organic samples for stable nitrogen and carbon isotope ratios, the diluter making it possible to obtain nitrogen and carbon data simultaneously.